I remember when I started my first year working in the schools and I was very nervous about starting. I had completed my student teaching in the spring so I knew how to end a year but was unsure about how to start it. Little did I know how every year turns out to be quite different with different challenges.
Our school district (like many) has started this year with less revenue. This has meant cut backs and transferring of staff. So teacher workday this year consisted of assessing the damage and seeing what changes I may need to make.
The result of the cuts started with some good news. I was able to move into a larger more sound proof room. We have larger classes with fewer teachers so there are actually more rooms available. I can fit a group of 10 kids in my room now. Then there was the bad news. Unfortunately the counselor who was previously my partner for my pragmatics group and an extra person for the Concept Groups was caught in the transfers. I will miss her help dearly. However, a new counselor has been assigned that sounded interested in working with me. It seems we may be able to continue the pragmatic groups together. Maybe she will bring new ideas with her. I have a group of 4th graders that really can benefit from it.
After the cuts, we have one Kindergarten teacher doing an am and pm class with both classes containing about 30 students (previously class size was about 25). Previous years we had 1 full day classroom and two half day classes. This means I will need more materials and possibly another adult in the room to make another table group.
The good news is I worked with this teacher last year and she is enthused about continuing the Concept Language Groups. Again, the new counselor said she would try to help. We posted a letter at our “Back to School Night” for parent volunteers. A few seemed interested. It is a good opportunity for parents to help and participate in their child’s class so I have hopes. We also posted a letter for more game materials, so hopefully that will come through.